The Q&A Archives: potatoes

Question: my potatoe vines are about 1 ft. high. I have been covering them with hay as the grow. Will that work or should I use mulch or dirt? I have never grown them before, any other advice would be appreciated. THANKS!!!

Answer: Your technique is absolutely right! Straw promotes healthy plant growth, smothers weeds and protects tubers from turning green in the sunlight. The straw also acts as a mulch to keep the soil moist. So keep adding straw as your plants grow.

In late August, you can begin harvesting clean, soil-free "new potatoes." Simply pull back the straw, take what you need and carefully replace the straw. After fall frosts when the vines die back, your main potato crop is ready.

Here is a most satisfying part of growing potatoes in straw. Not one spud is sacrificed to injuries from digging. In fact, no digging is necessary -- just scoop them out!

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